Attacked Offaly farmer 'will never return home again'
The sister of the farmer attacked with Iron bars in his home in south Offaly on Saturday has said he will never return home again, RTÉ have reported.
Annette Meacle spoke to RTE and made a passionate plea for authorities to be better resourced in rural Ireland.
Her brother, 54-year-old Richie McKelvey, who lives alone, was viciously beaten during a burglary at his house in Brosna, near Birr in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Mr McKelvey reportedly had locked himself and his dog into his bedroom in fear after a number of recent attacks. When the gang broke in on Saturday they attacked him and his dog. The gang demanded money.
The gang of four dragged the man to his yard, assaulted him a number of times before locking him in a shed. While the men fled, the injured farmer escaped and raised the alarm with a neighbour.
Hi sister called for the gardaí to be better resourced in the rural Ireland, and also asked for cameras to be placed on the exits of the motorways to at least trace the movements of these criminals.
"The world seems to come alive in the dark at night in rural Ireland because they know the fear is there," she told RTE.
The farmer remains in hospital after what was described as "an aggravated burglary". He suffered lacerations to his head and upper body after he was viciously beaten.
His injuries are not life threatening but Gardaí are continuing an extensive investigation at Birr Garda Station such was the severity of the attack.
The farmer, who lives alone, was targeted on Saturday morning for the second time in six weeks. A small sum of money was taken from his home.
Gardaí have appealed for people, especially fellow farmers and home owners in the area, to look out for discarded clothing or items in fields and ditches around their land. They also revealed that the men spoke with Munster accents and were estimated to be aged in their 20s.
Gardaí are keen to trace the movements of a 4x4 vehicle used by the men, which they believe was parked up at a field during the ordeal.
Anyone who may have witnessed suspicious behaviour between 11pm on Friday night and 3am on Saturday morning are urged to contact Birr Garda Station on (057) 916 9710.